A Healthy Fat Composition
The human body needs controlled amounts of healthy fats for optimum health. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is very low in saturated fat and an excellent source of unsaturated fats, which nutrition experts worldwide agree, are healthy fats. The fats in Extra Virgin Olive Oil are 72% mono-unsaturated; 12% poly-unsaturated in the form of the beneficial omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids; with the remaining 14% composed of saturated fats. There are no trans fatty acids present in Extra Virgin Olive Oil at all. The healthy fat profile of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is what makes it an essential part of a balanced diet, and an excellent substitute for saturated fats in a fat-controlled diet.
The olive offers a wide range of nutritional benefits that are preserved in Extra Virgin Olive Oil because of the cold extraction process. There are more than 100 natural chemical compounds in the fruit that offer great health, flavour and fragrance. These micronutrients include a range of anti-oxidants, pro-vitamins and vitamins that play a vital role in a healthy balanced diet. Anti-oxidants help to protect cells and tissues. As we age, the body’s capacity to make its own mix of anti-oxidants diminishes. So, dietary intake of anti-oxidants becomes more and more important. Using Extra Virgin Olive Oil daily in our cooking and as a dressing is an easy and delicious way to ensure a consistent supply of these vital micronutrients.
Benefits of Extra Virgin Olive Oil anti-oxidants
Research has shown that rich mix of anti-oxidants in Extra Virgin Olive Oil can protect the body in number of ways:
Studies from the medical profession, researchers, etc. have proven that daily usage of quality Extra Virgin Olive oil:
- may reduce the risks of numerous ‘lifestyle’ illnesses including breast, colon and gastric cancers
- may help to lower blood pressure
- Decreases the risk of heart disease.
- Increase in HDL (good) Cholesterol and reduce LDL (bad)
- Decreased blood pressure – Oleic acid (a monounsaturated, omega-9 fatty acid)
- The Polyphenol properties of Olive Oil are anti-inflammatory
- Hydroxytyrosol (HT) protects cells that line the blood vessels from reactive oxygen molecules. May help to maintain optimal brain functioning as we age
- Squalene, a less common antioxidant plays a special role in skin health
- It provides Vitamin E and beta-carotene
- Contains omega 3,6 and 9
- Is 100% Natural – Free of additives or preservatives
- Natural acidity less than 0.8%l;7
Essential Fatty Acids
Extra Virgin Olive Oil provides us with the essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids which the body needs for healthy growth and development. However, our diet is our only source as these are the only two fatty acids that the body cannot make itself. Healthy mother’s milk is rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, and interestingly Extra Virgin Olive Oil offers exactly the same ratios. Regular consumption of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is therefore highly beneficial for growing children, as well as adults.
The Mediterranean Diet
Lately there has been much research into the diet of Mediterranean countries because of lower incidences of typical ‘lifestyle’ diseases. These countries are also not observing the alarming rise of obesity common in all other Western societies. The Mediterranean diet is notable for its high intake of fresh vegetables, fish and olive oil, which is the primary source of dietary fat. Intake of saturated and trans fats are very low. More and more nutrition experts are recommending the Mediterranean diet combined with physical activity both as a model for healthy, balanced eating and as a weight loss regime.